Advantage Denton

September 28, 2009

Just Do It – no dithering allowed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Denton @ 11:33 am

Melissa DentonJust do it.  This extremely good advice, annoyingly co-opted by a sales campaign, is not to be ignored.  I can find one hundred reasons not to get going on something that needs doing.  It is much faster to decide whether the task needs doing and, if so, just do it.  Things may not turn out perfect.  I may be sorry later.  So what.  If I use up all my time worrying about whether or how to do something, won’t I later mourn the lost opportunities and time spent messing around?

Most lawyers are pretty good at getting things done, or at least they were when they became lawyers.  You can’t get through a college education and law school and the bar examination without some modicum of organization and follow through.  Figuring out priorities for what to study and what not to waste time on is essential to passing through the gauntlet required to become an attorney.  If you practice law, you have to stay pretty responsible about “just do it” with respect to client tasks – or you fail as an attorney.  But even us lawyers can be very wasteful of our lives and our opportunities.

How is it that some folks accomplish so much and the rest of us just sit in awe, jaws dropping with admiration (or resentment)?  I am guessing that the ones who accomplish spend their time doing rather than navel gazing or comparing to others.   Instead of respecting and envying Benjamin Franklin and his ilk, we can choose to dither.  The few individuals who accomplish many great things are not waiting around to get started.  They are acting.

It does make sense that there are many types of people and ways of being.  Not everyone wants to accomplish much with their life.  Those folks stopped reading at the first sentence.  The meek may inherit the earth, but I want to make it an earth worth inheriting.

I advocate taking matters into your own hands and moving forward with whatever it is that needs doing.  Focus on what you are good at and what you care about.  Have other people do the things in your life that they are good at so you use your time on what matters to you.  Just jump in and do the things you know you should and correct your course as often as you need to.  What is stopping you?

Only you are stopping you.  Find a way and just do it.

September 10, 2009

What Really Matters in Lawyering

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 6:52 pm

What really matters in lawyering is pretty much the same as what really matters in other life, only more so. It is crucial to maintain your integrity no matter what provocations or distractions are thrown your way. It is wise to keep a sense of humor and crucial to be compassionate about the travails and foibles of other mortals.  If other persons are deciding what actions a lawyer takes in contravention to the lawyer’s sense of honor, sharp warning bells should go off.

Today I was at court with an opposing counsel who described his ideal leisure time as hunting in the woods. When another lawyer mentioned relaxing at the beach, he said that maybe being at the beach would be OK if one was hunting for clams or something. This lawyer most enjoys being an aggressor, in and out of court. That is how he is true to himself. If he were asked to give an unearned advantage to another, he would feel out of his element.

My preferred style is to negotiate a reasonable settlement of each case based on what will cause the least harm to the whole family. I encourage my clients to give to the other party rather than spending more money on legal fees for uncertain gain and more animosity in relationships. Sometimes adversary proceedings are the only option, but most times kindness goes a long way. If I were asked to vigorously pursue a goal that I believed detrimental to the family or to the child, it would be antithetical to my way of being a lawyer.

It seems to me that there is room in the world for both types of attorneys and multitudes of other styles. Each of us has the responsibility to remain true to our personal philosophy and to not work for folks who can not accept the values we uphold. Lawyers have great responsibility to clients and to our system of justice.  If we can not be relied upon to remain true to our values, whatever they are, we fail to uphold the oath we swore to when we became attorneys.

September 3, 2009

Speak No Evil (of lawyers)

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 6:58 pm

We lawyers live in a conspiracy of silence.  Most wise people are quite hesitant to say anything negative about other professionals in their community.  Saying something bad about another person makes the listener wonder about your integrity first.  When the person whom you have maligned comes to hear some exaggerated version of what you said, there can be other negative repercussions.

When doctors follow this same code of conduct, patients can have bad consequences for their health.  When lawyers don’t help clients avoid poor quality lawyers, people lose their rights, money and time. This came to my mind when I saw in my state bar journal that a lawyer I had a case with about 15 years ago just got disbarred.  It was a shock that it this person had been allowed to practice all these years because the quality of work I saw was so very poor.

I am just as reluctant as the next lawyer is to say bad things about other attorneys.  It sure is a blessing to work in the field of lawyer finding because we help people avoid the attorneys who would not serve them well.  Without saying one bad word about the lawyers we avoid, we can ethically help clients connect with the right lawyer for them.

Lawyer finders know how to find a lot of information about a lawyer.  We know how to read between the lines to evaluate the quality of attorneys.  Without saying one word about the problems we see in the attorneys we avoid, we have the distinct pleasure of sending clients to the right lawyer for them.  When a lawyer’s office turns away a client not right for their practice or gives a referral on request, it is the ethical choice to send the client to a good quality lawyer for their needs or to send the client to Advantage Denton for lawyer finding services.  Sending prospective clients out to the yellow pages or to the internet or to a service that gives the next name off of a list is not nearly as good a choice.

If you know someone who needs the services of a lawyer, have them call 877-LAW-CALM to have us find the right lawyer for them.  That way the negative things we don’t want to say about other lawyers don’t need to be said and the client is not left stumbling around in the dark to find the wrong lawyer by accident.

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